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Hotel Deals for Whittier
La Casa Inn
Mar 20 - Mar 20, 2019
per night from
$ 279
$ 69.03

Want to change your life right this very second? Do yourself a favor and rent a car—preferably a Mustang convertible—and take the ultimate California road trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco via Pacific Coast Highway (a.k.a. Highway 1). Along the way you’ll encounter enchanting small towns, jaw-dropping vistas, hair-raising switchback turns, sublime sunsets and a nighttime sky littered with a thousand stars. Ready to have your mind blown? Scroll through the pics below.

RELATED: The road trip less traveled on California’s HWY 395

Begin your journey at the Santa Monica Pier where a ride atop the world's first solar-powered Ferris wheel reveals the stunning beauty of this seaside city. The expansive views of the Pacific Ocean will immediately snap you into vacation mode. | Photo courtesy of Jason Heidemann
Next, follow Courtney Love's advice and "sail away" to Malibu where the Coastal Highway speeds past million dollar homes, Cal cool Pepperdine University and crazy beautiful expanses of sand, including El Matador State Beach. The sunsets will probably make you cry. | Photo courtesy of Zachary Whittenburg
Make an inland detour to Ojai, a sun-drenched village where Angelenos go to disappear for the weekend. Visit the Beatrice Wood Center for the Arts, nosh at Agave Maria's Restaurant & Cantina and stay at the Ojai Rancho Inn—a hipster hangout with Western chic rooms, a large outdoor pool and an onsite bar where all the cool kids hang after dark. You'd be crazy not to start your next morning with a jog along the Ojai Trail and breakfast at Bonnie Lu's. | Photo courtesy of Zachary Whittenburg
From Ojai, follow Hwy 150 as it twists, turns and bends its way through the wilderness and back to the coast. Perfectly coiffed and manicured Santa Barbara is the last "city" you'll see for a while, so make the most of it with a stay at the Wayfarer, a jet set hostelry in the painfully trendy Funk Zone. Sink your teeth into a chewy pizza at Lucky Penny, share mind-blowing Indonesian small plates at Sama Sama and save room for a scoop at McConnell's, the most iconic ice cream shop on the West Coast. | Photo courtesy of Zachary Whittenburg
Skip the portion of PCH that circumnavigates Vandenberg Air Force Base and instead follow HWY 101 to touristy, but charming, Solvang for an ersatz taste of Scandinavia. Next hit up Ostrichland USA, a simple detour where a $6 admission gets visitors a little too close for comfort with swarms of the giant, gangly-necked birds. A more amusing 20 minutes you'll never have again. | Photo courtesy of Jason Heidemann 
End your day in windswept Cambria, a seaside hamlet whose oceanfront lodgings guarantee eye-popping vistas. Stay at Moonstone Landing and book an oceanfront view with a balcony. Crack open some bubbly and drink in both champagne and a heart-pounding sunset. Sunrises are equally awesome, so rise and shine early and follow the Moonstone Beach Boardwalk| Photo courtesy of Moonstone Landing  
At Hearst Castle, the quirky excesses of publishing magnet William Hearst are on full display in the form of opulent swimming pools, lavish guest quarters and perfectly manicured grounds. Book a few tours and plan to spend half a day here; you won't be sorry. | Photo courtesy of Zachary Whittenburg
Today's drive between San Simeon and Big Sur is absolutely bananas. Take the top down and prepare for 70 miles of roller coaster-like twists and turns made even more thrilling by crashing waves, a pounding surf and eagles soaring overhead. As you enter Big Sur, pull your vehicle to the side of the road and make the short and easy hike to McWay Falls—one of two California waterfalls that flows directly into the Pacific Ocean. Reward yourself afterward with cocktails and a view at Cafe Nepenthe, a gift to Rita Hayworth from then-husband Orson Welles. | Photo courtesy of Zachary Whittenburg
In Big Sur, bed down at Glen Oaks, an old motor lodge that's been transformed into an upscale, but still (relatively) affordable lodging. Mix and mingle around the campfire each night with fellow guests, hike the expansive property and don't miss free donuts and coffee the following morning. One of the most rare and enchanting experiences in all of California is to book the night baths at the Esalen Institute, which allows a limited number of participants to bathe nightly from 1am-3am in their naturally fed hot springs while the waves crash around you. | Photo courtesy of Zachary Whittenburg
Push onward the next morning to the Monterey Peninsula where numerous captivating adventures await, including a stroll through the cutesy overload village Carmel-by-the-Sea, a viewing at the free Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary in Pacific Grove (October through March is beautiful beyond words) and a speedy jaunt through famed 17-mile Drive. Don't miss the clam chowder at Vivolo's House near Cannery Row. It may just be the tastiest dish on the entire peninsula. | Photo courtesy of Zachary Whittenburg
The end is near! Push onward to crunchy cool Santa Cruz whose boardwalk boasts the largest wooden roller coaster on the West Coast. Spend a few hours idling around downtown and if you visit at dinner, don't miss upscale Afghani food at Laili. The final miles of the journey include idyllic Half Moon Bay, but the real prize is the endpoint—San Francisco! Complete your journey either via a picnic in Dolores Park or a stroll along Marshall Beach and selfie in front of the Golden Gate Bridge. No need to crack a smile—you'll already have one permanently planted on your face.


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Tagged: California

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Jason Heidemann

Jason Heidemann

Jason is a Lead Content Specialist for Expedia Group, and manages content initiatives across numerous Expedia-owned brands. His work has been featured in the Chicago Tribune, Time Out, the Huffington Post, Chicago Magazine, Passport and many others.

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